It is an honour and privilege to have been re-elected as Chair of Bingley Town Council and to be able to continue to serve Bingley Town Council and the people of Bingley. The last year has been very difficult for everyone and we have all had to adapt and adjust our lives, family and working practices to suit. I hope that the easing of restrictions will continue and the council will be able to resume all its normal activities in the very near future.
It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of a new Town Clerk for Bingley. Eve Haskins has a wealth of experience at Sandy Lane and at Steeton with Eastburn Parish Councils and will begin to work part-time at Bingley initially. I would also like to welcome new Councillors; Jo Reynard, Philippa Gibbons and Robert Beckwith. With the council back to full strength, I look forward to a reinvigorated and refreshed council with a strong support team.
A special thank you must go to the Locum Clerk, Tracy Predeth who continues to work so effectively and has given excellent support during a difficult transition period. Thank you to all Councillors who have maintained council business and researched, supported and reported on different projects. We can now look forward to upcoming projects such as the floral displays, summer bedding plants for the villages, Play in the Park holiday schemes and of course plans for Christmas lights and displays – it’s never too early.
On behalf of the Town Council I would like to wish all residents good health and well-being and an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful summer with family and friends.
Operation of the Council
The Annual Meeting was held on 25th May 2021. At this meeting it was confirmed that the Council meets the conditions of eligibility to use the General Power of Competence. It has a qualified clerk and a minimum of two thirds of councillors have been elected. This provides the local authority with the power to do anything that individuals generally may do (Localism Act, 2011). Helen Owen was re-elected as Chair of the Town Council and councillor committee memberships were confirmed, details of which can be found on the Town Council website.
Improving access to Council meetings
In line with Government guidance, the Council is beginning to return to face-to-face meetings. This is a welcome return to normal for many. However, it is recognised that, for some, remote access has allowed greater participation as travel to venues can be difficult.
The Town Council wishes to provide the widest possible opportunities for public access and participation. As a result, it has been reviewing technology solutions which would support remote access to public face-to-face meetings.
The Council has investigated a number of different options.
Successful user trials with OWL technology have been undertaken. This technology provides audio sound together with a 360-degree view of a meeting room. The meeting can then be shared via platforms such as Zoom. As a result, the Council has now approved the purchase of the OWL system.
Further research will also be undertaken on the recording/streaming of meetings via YouTube or similar.
Play in the Park
The plans for “Play in the Park” are progressing well.
There will be 6 events in the summer and these will be held at various locations across the Bingley area.
Each event will run from 11am-3pm.
Further information on venues will follow.
The popular monthly farmers’ markets have now returned providing the discerning shopper with an excellent range of high-quality products.
The next market will be held on Saturday 5th June and the marker traders look forward to welcoming everyone to the event.
Festive Christmas Lights
While it might seem some way off, preparations for the festive Christmas lights display have commenced. The Council approved a proposal which will see some new lights on Main Street in Bingley. Crossflats and Eldwick will have different displays this year using lights from previous locations. While Gilstead will see feature lights and a Christmas tree. The total cost of the displays will be £7220. This amount is within the festive Christmas lights budget.
Responding to a suggestion by the local Soroptimist International group, the Council approved the twinning of the two Hub public toilets in the centre of Bingley with ones in overseas locations that currently have poor sanitation. This is at a cost of £60 each.
The toilet twining programme helps thousands of people living in difficult conditions to get clean water and improved sanitation. Such things we sometimes take for granted but are sadly lacking for many people across the globe with detrimental health consequences.
The Friends of Myrtle Park are working hard to renovate the former Veterans’ Hut within the park.
Funds had been granted by Bingley Town Council to provide notice boards for the renovated hut. However, in the course of renovation, is has become apparent that remedial work is required on the hut floor. Bingley Town Council has agreed that the funding for notice boards can be redirected to the floor restoration work as this is critical to the success of the project.
COVID 19 Guidance
The Government’s’ Coronavirus advice web site at (COVID-19) Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) provides the following guidance:
17 May: What’s changed:
Restrictions have been eased following the move to step 3. However we must continue to exercise caution. You should follow this guidance on what you can and cannot do. It is underpinned by law and applies across England.
You should also follow the guidance on how to stop the spread of coronavirus at all times, including if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
You should continue to work from home if you can.
When travelling within the UK, you should aim to do so safely and plan your journey in advance.
Gathering limits have been eased. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 30 people and indoor gatherings are limited to 6 people or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
New guidance on meeting friends and family emphasises personal responsibility rather than government rules. Instead of instructing you to stay 2m apart from anyone you don’t live with, you are encouraged to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with COVID-19 and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Remember that the risks of close contact may be greater for some people than others and in some settings and circumstances, there will be specific guidance that you will need to follow even when you are with friends and family.
Indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas are permitted to open with COVID-secure measures in place.
People can attend indoor and outdoor events, including live performances, sporting events and business events. Attendance at these events is capped according to venue type, and attendees should follow the COVID-secure measures set out by those venues.
Indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen.
Organised indoor sport can take place for all. This includes gym classes. It must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission.
All holiday accommodation can open, including hotels and B&Bs. This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
Funeral attendance is no longer be limited to 30 people, but will be determined by how many people the COVID-secure venue can safely accommodate with social distancing. Limits at weddings, wakes and other commemorative events have been increased to 30 people. Other significant life events, such as bar/bat mitzvahs and christenings, will also be able to take place with 30 people.
The rules for care home residents visiting out and receiving visitors have changed, allowing up to five named visitors (two at any one time), provided visitors test negative for COVID-19.
All higher education students are able to access in-person teaching.
Support groups and parent and child group gathering limits have been increased to 30 people (not including under 5s)
There is no longer a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally. A traffic light system for international travel has been introduced, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country.
Further details can be found at Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The Council is delighted to be able to welcome Eve Haskins to the post of Town Clerk. Initially Eve will be working for Bingley Town Council two days per week. This will increase to five in August. Our current locum Town Clerk, Tracy Predeth, will continue to support the council in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition of service delivery to Eve.
Eve has extensive experience of the work of local councils, having worked for several in the area. She brings with her a clear view of the opportunities and challenges facing such organisations and the Town Council looks forward to benefitting from her ideas
The Town Council’s office is closed due to the lockdown with staff working from home. Bingley Town Council can be contacted by email at enquiries@bingleyTownCouncil.go.uk or by phone on the following numbers:
Deputy Town Clerk: 07703 188660
Administrative Officer: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 077835 19439
Dates for your diary
Monthly Saturday Farmers’ market – First Saturday of each month 10am to 2pm
The next ordinary meeting of the Town Council is at 6.30pm on: Tuesday 29th June 2021. The meeting will be held at St Winifrid’s Community Hall in Gilstead. The agenda for the meeting can be found on the Town Council website and on its Facebook page.
You can see all the council’s meeting dates in the Events section calendar on the website.
Saturday June 26th 10.00 am. Litter Pick – Meet at the Council Office (The Hub, Myrtle Place)
So that the council can keep as many people as possible informed, please do share this newsletter with friends and family and encourage them to subscribe too.
Bingley Town Council, Myrtle Place, Bingley BD16 2LF.